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Do you use a diffuser in wedding photography?

FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk
Thread started 07 Apr 2011 (Thursday) 21:13   
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Tigerkn
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cdifoto wrote in post #12193667external link
If you can't bounce, what good do you really think that bounce card is doing? Ceilings that are too high for bouncing are the equivalent of the sky.

What would you do or use if the ceiling is dark or too high?
I thought this is when the bounce card with 45 +/- degree flash make it happens.

Post #16, Apr 11, 2011 10:01:22


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Shockey
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For weddings indoors in dark venues. Iso 1600 point the flash straight up with a demb diffuser on the front, shooting wide open.
I tried the bounce method, my brain doesn't work fast enough to keep up with it...always had it pointing the wrong direction and takes to long to switch it, then I forget to switch it back. I prefer to spend my mental energy looking for shots.

Outdoor straight on for fill....I only do this at weddings.

For everything other than weddings I use off camera flash or natural light.

Post #17, Apr 11, 2011 10:07:18


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Tigerkn wrote in post #12199717external link
What would you do or use if the ceiling is dark or too high?
I thought this is when the bounce card with 45 +/- degree flash make it happens.

"Too high" really doesn't exist. I mean, you can bounce into 20 footers as long as they're light colored (preferably white).

If the ceiling is black/dark/nonexistent​, I'll either use direct flash and/or off-camera lights...usually both. Ideal lighting isn't going to come solely from a little on-camera flash unit.

Post #18, Apr 11, 2011 13:04:30


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Tigerkn
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Thanks Cdifoto!

Post #19, Apr 11, 2011 14:59:40


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cory1848
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Stirring the pot a little....

Am I the only one here that actually sees a difference a diffuser creates when shooting outdoors? Direct flash gives really harsh lines around the nose, eyes, cheekbones, etc. The stofen softens those lines. It's not rocket science, it actually does work. Now, distance plays into this quite a bit. If I am 20 feet away, a stofen wont make much of a difference, but if I am closer than 10 feet, I see it. It's enough of a difference for me to keep using it when necessary.

You do have to think that all of these diffusers, some gimmicks, were created for a reason. I know one of those reasons was that people were not happy with direct flash.

I have also used them in off camera flash situations where even dialed down to 1/64, the flash was too much. Rather than moving the flash further away and changing the light angle, pop on a stofen which can further reduce the output a little.

Post #20, Apr 13, 2011 10:25:18 as a reply to Tigerkn's post 1 day earlier.


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Shockey
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Depends on if you are blasting them with the flash and/or trying to overpower the sun such as you might want to do in mottled light, then an off camera flash with softbox or umbrella would be good to soften the shadows.

If you are just using it for fill harsh light is not a problem...the idea is for people to not be quite able to tell if flash was used or not.

Post #21, Apr 13, 2011 10:54:41


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cory1848 wrote in post #12213566external link
Stirring the pot a little....

Am I the only one here that actually sees a difference a diffuser creates when shooting outdoors? Direct flash gives really harsh lines around the nose, eyes, cheekbones, etc. The stofen softens those lines. It's not rocket science, it actually does work.

I doubt you have changed the law of physics. There is no softening from sticking a piece of plastic in front of your flash. The size of your light source has not changed!

You are only kidding yourself.

Post #22, Apr 13, 2011 11:51:20


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cory1848
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Gatorboy wrote in post #12214162external link
I doubt you have changed the law of physics. There is no softening from sticking a piece of plastic in front of your flash. The size of your light source has not changed!

You are only kidding yourself.

Am I? Then why is the outcome different? Are you saying you cannot tell the difference between a diffused flash and straight on direct flash? Apparently there are millions of other photographers that would disagree with your opinion.

Keep in mind, I am not talking about power output, but rather the final image and how that looks. It produces a more even flattering light across the subject.

Next time you are using a studio light with a softbox, remove the softbox cover and take a shot, then put it back on and tell me there is no difference. Same principle, just a smaller scale. Same light source, same size, same power, difference result.

And for the record, the stofen is not placed directly in front of the flash element. It is offset about an inch or so.

Post #23, Apr 13, 2011 13:36:06


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jcolman
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cory1848 wrote in post #12214914external link
Next time you are using a studio light with a softbox, remove the softbox cover and take a shot, then put it back on and tell me there is no difference. Same principle, just a smaller scale. Same light source, same size, same power, difference result.

And for the record, the stofen is not placed directly in front of the flash element. It is offset about an inch or so.

ummm....wrong. A softbox dramatically increases the size of the light source. That is where the softness comes from. This is why bouncing a light off a wall gives you very soft light. The wall acts as a very large light source.

The stofen will give you a slight marginal increase in softness due to the fact that the light source is a bit larger when using it as opposed to bare flash.

Post #24, Apr 13, 2011 13:47:56


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cory1848
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jcolman wrote in post #12215005external link
ummm....wrong. A softbox dramatically increases the size of the light source. That is where the softness comes from. This is why bouncing a light off a wall gives you very soft light. The wall acts as a very large light source.

The stofen will give you a slight marginal increase in softness due to the fact that the light source is a bit larger when using it as opposed to bare flash.

Ummm, no. Maybe I just didnt clarify it. With a softbox, the entire softbox structure is a reflective material. The front section usually attaches to the box using velcro or something. Remove that front section with the box in place. Fire the strobe. The light fills up the box and projects it, just like a speedlite would. If you ever open up a speedlite you would see that the actual flash element is a lot smaller than the flash head itself.

After taking a shot like that, then put the front diffuser part back on, take another shot. Tell me there is no difference.

It is the same principle, just on a smaller scale. Maybe it is not enough of a difference for people to notice and they dismiss it. It is enough for me to notice.

Post #25, Apr 13, 2011 14:02:36


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Outdoors with a stofen omni-bounce attached or shooting direct bare flash, there will be no difference in the softness of the light, period. Light does not bend, it comes in a straight line from the source to the subject. The only thing the stofen is doing making your flash work harder and wasting batteries.

Post #26, Apr 13, 2011 15:26:21


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cory1848
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Gatorboy wrote in post #12215649external link
Outdoors with a stofen omni-bounce attached or shooting direct bare flash, there will be no difference in the softness of the light, period. Light does not bend, it comes in a straight line from the source to the subject. The only thing the stofen is doing making your flash work harder and wasting batteries.

I am sorry, but my results in my photos tell me otherwise. Until that changes, I keep using it because it produces the results I like. Does it work in all instances outdoors? No, of course not, however close up portrait shots, it does work well.

Post #27, Apr 13, 2011 18:27:56


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cory1848 wrote in post #12215112external link
Ummm, no. Maybe I just didnt clarify it. With a softbox, the entire softbox structure is a reflective material. The front section usually attaches to the box using velcro or something. Remove that front section with the box in place. Fire the strobe. The light fills up the box and projects it, just like a speedlite would. If you ever open up a speedlite you would see that the actual flash element is a lot smaller than the flash head itself.

After taking a shot like that, then put the front diffuser part back on, take another shot. Tell me there is no difference.

It is the same principle, just on a smaller scale. Maybe it is not enough of a difference for people to notice and they dismiss it. It is enough for me to notice.

You clarified it just fine. But you're still wrong. Let me show you. Here are three photos, all from the exact same setup.

1. This shot was taken with a speedlight firing into a softbox. All ambient light was killed so the only light produced was from the softbox with a diffuser on the front. Notice the soft shadows.

IMAGE: http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jcolman_photo/workspace/test-101.jpg

1A. The softbox with it's panel.

IMAGE: http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jcolman_photo/workspace/test-102.jpg


2. I removed the front panel and adjusted the exposure a bit to compensate for the increase in light. Notice the hard shadow.
IMAGE: http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jcolman_photo/workspace/test-103.jpg

2A The softbox with it's panel removed.

IMAGE: http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jcolman_photo/workspace/test-104.jpg

And just for grins I shot the setup with the softbox removed. I also placed the light exactly where the front element was when the softbox was used.

IMAGE: http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jcolman_photo/workspace/test-105.jpg

IMAGE: http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jcolman_photo/workspace/test-106.jpg


Like I said, it's the size of the light source that gives you the softness. That's why a small piece of tupperware on the front of your flash isn't going to do much to soften the light.

Post #28, Apr 13, 2011 20:22:12


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johnandbentley
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cdifoto wrote in post #12189185external link
Lots of people followed Hitler too. Were they right?

Yeah, extreme example. But the point is a lot of people can be wrong and in some cases, really wrong.

A tad off and kind of aggressive to bring in following hitler into my comment on what works for me and works for others don't you think? Not everyone does things one way. That is a tad over the top way of thinking. I'm simply answering op's question by sharing my experiences....that I tend to see a lot of peeps using in outdoor portraits and I've tried myself with good results that the client liked too. It does not require to be bounced to he useful. For times I want soft fill light and even formacro, the stofen does the job for me.

Post #29, Apr 13, 2011 20:32:41


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cory1848 wrote in post #12213566external link
Stirring the pot a little....

Am I the only one here that actually sees a difference a diffuser creates when shooting outdoors? Direct flash gives really harsh lines around the nose, eyes, cheekbones, etc. The stofen softens those lines. It's not rocket science, it actually does work. Now, distance plays into this quite a bit. If I am 20 feet away, a stofen wont make much of a difference, but if I am closer than 10 feet, I see it. It's enough of a difference for me to keep using it when necessary.

You do have to think that all of these diffusers, some gimmicks, were created for a reason. I know one of those reasons was that people were not happy with direct flash.

I have also used them in off camera flash situations where even dialed down to 1/64, the flash was too much. Rather than moving the flash further away and changing the light angle, pop on a stofen which can further reduce the output a little.


ABSOLUTELY agree for these reasons

Post #30, Apr 13, 2011 20:35:25


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